Go Gently Into That New Year … From The Executive Director
Are you one of those people who makes multiple New Year’s resolutions and then find yourself failing on them, perhaps as soon as January 2?
If so, perhaps a different approach is in order. Here are some thoughts to consider:
1: Why the need to start our resolutions on January 1? Starting a new year by making changes may have some intuitive appeal, but this can be a difficult time of year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The days are short; the temperature is cold; and we’re coming off a series of holidays that are often filled with frenzied activity. Maybe January 1 is a time to just take a breath and slow down a little. Perhaps it is wise to defer making any major lifestyle changes until a different time of year;
2: Trying to make multiple changes in our lives at the same time can be extremely difficult. Trying to extinguish even one old habit and replacing it with a healthier habit can be daunting, but trying to change several habits at the same time will very likely feel overwhelming and quickly lead to failure. Focusing on one change that you would like to make at a time will feel less intimidating, and if you have a “slip,” you are less likely to feel intense shame and embarrassment about the lapse;
3: Get support! As anyone who is in recovery can tell you, the journey is much easier if you have company. Do some research to find a group, class, Meet-up, or other resource that will help you make the changes that you wish to make. Who knows, you might even find a new friend—or several!
Allie F. Miller, LMFT